We've blogged in the past about the importance of booking your holiday with a recognised travel company like Hot Holidays so you can benefit from the additional protection that is provided.
However, whilst the ABTA and ATOL schemes provide protection against any problems that might arise with your travel company, there are all manner of other issues that could arise with your holiday that won’t be covered.
For that reason, travel insurance is a key thing to consider when booking a holiday and something that you should spend time looking into at the same time as you are putting together your plans for a break in the sun.
Travel insurance is often something that is left until the last minute, but putting it in place early is something that is well advised to ensure that you are fully protected in the event of unforeseen issues arising with your holiday.
Exactly what you get from your travel insurance will depend on the individual policy, and that is something that you certainly want to pay attention to when you are making a purchase.
It can be very easy to simply be drawn in by the promise of cheap holiday insurance and low premiums, but basic policies might not be suited to your requirements and may not provide the levels of cover that you require.
So what do you need to look out for?
At a basic level, travel insurance will provide cover for a range of different things, ranging from delays on your flights to the need for cancellation, and from luggage that is lost in transit to any medical costs that you might incur whilst you are away overseas.
As with any other kind of insurance, the level at which you are covered for those things will differ from policy to policy, so it’s important to check the small print and to compare the different options that are presented with.
As an example, should you have cover that would protect you in the event you fell ill and had to cancel your holiday, you’d want to ensure that it actually covered the cost of the holiday. It might sound like a simple thing to consider, but not checking what you are paying for could come back to bite you.
That part of the reason why you shouldn’t simply look at the lowest price that may be offered on a price comparison website as in many cases, you will get what you are - or in some case aren’t - paying for…
As important as seeing what is offered as part of your insurance is seeing what isn’t covered, or what might need to be added to a policy as an extra.
This is particularly key when it comes to sickness cover as whilst insurance will cover costs that may be incurred if you were to fall ill on holiday, that may not apply if the illness is a result of a pre-existing condition that you are aware of.
Although you should make sure you inform your insurance company of any pre-existing medical conditions, because they will check if the need arises, you shouldn’t automatically assume that the premium will increase; it will largely depend on the nature of the condition and whether it is under control.
It’s a similar story if you are planning to travel whilst pregnant - you may face increased premiums or find insurers are less keen on providing cover but only when you are close to your due date and there is the possibility that you could give birth abroad.
You shouldn’t assume that having a European Health Insurance Card - which is still in use in the European Union during the remainder of 2020 despite Brexit and which provides free or reduced cost healthcare in the EU - means you don’t need to take out travel insurance either.
Whilst that will cover treatment, it won’t cover the costs if you needed to be repatriated back to the UK to continue your recovery from any illness or injury and it also doesn’t cover any non-medical issues that you face.
Aside from medical conditions, you will also want to look at whether your insurance will cover any activities that you have planned over the course of your trip.
Basic travel insurance isn’t likely to cover you against some of the more extreme activities you might want to partake in, like jetskiing, whilst specialist cover will be required if you are heading away in winter to hit the ski slopes.
That’s largely because these kind of activities carry a greater level of risk - and therefore require an additional premium. It’s important to ensure that you have cover if you are going to take part because failing to it in place could end up costing you in the long run.
The final thing to consider is whether you need a single policy to cover one trip, or an annual policy that will cover a number of different trips.
If the latter, just ensure that the cover is suitable for each and every trip you will take considering the different activities that you might be partaking in.